Searching For Your Next Home Online
Gone are the days when only real estate agents had insider information about all the properties on sale. Today, you can find all the houses listed with just a simple Google search. However, despite the growth of internet searches on everything else, the real estate sector is still a long way off. Many people don’t trust the internet to find something so expensive and emotionally-attached and that is why real estate agents are still secure in their jobs.
Here is a step by step guide to finding a house online:
Know your budget
It can be very unfortunate to find your dream house and put in an offer only to realize you can’t afford it. An online affordability calculator and credit score report can help you know how much disposable income you have. Visit your banker for prequalification because they are the ones who will finance the mortgage.
Carry out a search
Now that you have a budget in mind, go to a good search portal like Google and type homes in preferred neighborhood under your budget. You should get a long list of all the homes listed in that area including their contact information, pictures or videos of the home and even specific details. Look at a number of houses and their features and come up with a list of those you like.
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Visit trusted home search websites
Doing a Google search can be very broad and it’s a scary thing not to know what you are doing. Luckily, there are websites out there that have trusted information about home listings and their information is updated often. Such websites include Realtor.com, Homefinder.com, Trulia.com, Homes.com, Realestate.com and others.
The next step is to call the sellers of those homes that you have chosen so you can set up appointments for house viewing. Be sure to ask any question or clarify information such as the number of rooms, amenities and other things. The seller will give you details of when and where to go for viewing and answer any question.
Find a good real estate agent
Unfortunately, buying a house is not as easy as buying a phone where you search, find, pay and it’s delivered. The real estate industry is a bit complicated what with fraudsters and contracts. Even after finding your perfect home online, it’s very important to still hire a professional realtor to close the deal for you. Real estate agents are important because they can negotiate a better deal for you, handle all the paper work and legalities and find you a good house because they know the location better.
Searching for your next home online may have made things a bit easier for people who like to do the work themselves but the industry still has a long way to go before online real estate agents can be trusted. However, it’s making real progress and maybe within a few years, people can buy and sell houses online without hiring realtors.